The Board was ecstatic about the Emery letter, as they concluded it made them legitimate. The Board sent the following letter to the community. Notice my name is not on it. I was not consulted, although I was still a board member.
I had to go out of town to teach a class at the Whittington Center in Raton, so I was gone from August 21 through the 23rd, 2019. I didn't tell anyone that I was going out of town. I was just setting up my class when I got this email from John:
He accidentally, on purpose, told me the board had planned a meeting with Emery without including me. I didn't include the conversation after this, but board members were agreeing that they were meeting on the 22nd, but they carefully did not include the time of the meeting. I had held out hope that the newest board member Marilee, was not part of the cabal, so this email erased that hope entirely. I thought about driving back to Taos, leaving my fellow instructors in the lurch, but I decided against it, as I had made a commitment to be there. I was sure the board would now do this with regularity anyway, so it probably didn't make much difference at this point.
I sent Emery an email a few days later, asking if he could send me his meeting summary, and he replied that he had none. Amy then chimed in and said she didn't know why I hadn't shown up to the meeting. I told her why, and she denied that they had made any secret arrangements.
Amy did send out this email with her summary of the Emery meeting:
(note the confidentiality notice at the bottom: Amy included this statement for a short time. I was among a list of intended recipients and I consider that I am free to distribute it as I choose.)
This is a clip of Emery's invoice for that meeting: note that he says they had a teleconference with Natelson, Mike's attorney, where it appears Natelson claims that the GWLUA has not expired.
On 8/30/19, Judge McElroy held his final hearing on the lawsuit before he retired and turned the case over to another judge. Amy was there, as were a number of community members. Natelson again asked McElroy to rule on the legality of the GWLUA and McElroy again refused to do so. Natelson, Amy and Mike should have realized that the claim to Emery that the GWLUA had not expired, was unfounded, but none of them apparently said anything. These three people perpetuated a fraud by not disclosing this to Emery and the rest of the board.
On 9/3/19, Nicole sent out the following letter to the community regarding a community meeting to discuss incorporation.
The board held another closed door meeting on 9/5/19 at Amy's house, where John proceeded to eliminate Nicole, our clerk. Nicole took on more than a simple clerk's job: she was meticulous about taking extensive notes, but she also had a sense of propriety absent from many of the board members, so she would often suggest behavior or wording that was more appropriate to our situation. I don't know why John had it in for Nicole, as I knew she had considered him a friend. John had clearly met with Judy before the meeting to set up the attack. I got to the meeting and almost immediately the other board members pounced on the subject of something inappropriate Nicole had supposedly said about the board. Mike said he could no longer trust Nicole and they agreed to sanction her. Then a funny thing happed: John walked back the accusations... maybe it wasn't Nicole after all, but Alicia who had said the bad things. Then maybe Alicia hadn't said them either. It didn't matter, as the board did not recant the accusation and Nicole was officially on her way out. I had recorded the entire incident. Nicole resigned almost immediately. What was the bad thing she supposedly said? That the board was composed of liars and cheats. That is something I would have said even back then, but I'm sure Nicole would have been more eloquent if she had said such a thing, which I doubt. She's got more class than that.
The official recorder and moral compass was now gone.
The board also discussed issues of incorporation during this meeting: they made it very clear that they had NO INTENTION of allowing the community to change the balloting to one person one vote, they planned on retaining their positions and they didn't intend to change any of the GWLUA documents.
Their threshold for voting came from Emery: a simple majority of a quorum. Mike said we should follow Emery’s advice, so the board didn’t consider what I said. I separately found details in the NM Condo Act, which details a super-majority of 2/3 of a quorum for serious issues. That is the standard among most states in their HOA laws. It is also the standard detailed in the HOA Manual, which Judy Sutton had been bandying about. I suggested that or preferably what our documents required since we are planning on extending the lifespan of the community: a 75% margin.
Synchronous to this, several community members met privately to discuss what was really going on... Alicia Bomhoff came up with a 'Declaration of Independence,' and Zac Helmberger came up with his own variation, and both started petitioning community members for signatures in opposition to fast-tracking a permanent change the GWLUA. Both documents are here:
Three of those same community members started this website as a place for community members to find pertinent documents.
John visited me to try to convince me to tone down my objections in order to push through incorporation because it was better to have something rather than nothing. I pointed out that our By-laws specifically required that 75% of the members in good standing must sign a statement agreeing to continue the GWLUA past the 25-year expiration date, 4/26/19. This was the first he had heard of this (although I also talked about it at the meeting at Amy's house) and he said that none the lawyers he had talked to ever mentioned it. He seemed to think this clause was negotiable. Since I told Emery about the applicable laws and the two scenarios for expiration at our initial meeting, I was appalled that a licensed practicing attorney would just ignore this mandate.
Since it takes 75% to continue, it should take 25%+ to refuse to continue the GWLUA or any offspring.
The discussion of the voting threshold for incorporation became quite heated, as you can see from this lengthy email thread. (Reading from bottom to top, it starts with John's agenda for the meeting.) You can see that Emery seems to have enabled the board to act on its own behalf, rather than for the community.
The board didn't want any surprises, so they required that all questions be submitted in advance so they could be vetted and the proper answers determined. We had a meeting the afternoon before at Judy's house to prepare. Amy said they had not received any questions at all, although later, several people told me they had submitted questions.
On September 18, 2019, I arrived at the appointed time and place to see this note tacked to the door:
I know this was a long post with lots of convoluted references. It's worth taking the time to slog through. Many of you new community members have no idea that these events happened. I hope you are at least beginning to question how this could happen among supposedly educated people in a civil society.